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- Best Overall: Burton Cargo Pant at Back Country "These shell pants offer excellent protection from the elements without overheating on warmer pow days."
- Runner-Up, Best Overall: Helly Hansen Legendary Pant at Amazon "Built for use at the resort, these trousers are versatile enough to be used on less intense outings into the backcountry as well."
- Best Budget: Volcom Freakin Snow Chino Pant at Amazon "Built-in insulation brings added warmth on colder days on the hill."
- Most Comfortable: 686 GLCR Gore-Tex GT Pant at Back Country "To round things out, these trousers also include built-in boot gaiters that are compatible with the popular Boa lacing system."
- Best for Men: Black Diamond Recon Stretch Pants at Amazon "Articulated knees and seat offer improved durability in areas that tend to show the most wear."
- Best for Women: Arc’Teryx Saber Pant at Amazon "Built with freeriders in mind, the Saber Pant can transition from groomed runs to backcountry routes."
- Best for Free Riders: Columbia Bugaboo II Snow Pants at Amazon "Their performance is outstanding, offering a solid blend of warmth and comfort without sacrificing durability and protection."
- Best Backcountry: Patagonia PowSlayer Pants at Back Country "The pants to integrate seamlessly with the PowSlayer jacket to form a unified snowsuit for use anywhere on the mountain."
- Best for Freestyle: Dakine Smyth Gore-Tex 2L Pant at Amazon "Mesh-lined inner leg vents allow heat and perspiration to easily escape, helping to regulate the rider’s body heat throughout the day."
Our Top Picks
Best Overall: Burton Cargo Pant
The result of years of dedication and experience in designing outdoor gear, the Burton Cargo Pant is a classic choice for those on the lookout for new snowboard trousers. These pants come in two styles: regular fit and relaxed fit, with the former offering a slightly more form-fitting cut, while the latter is a bit baggier, allowing for extra layers underneath. These shell pants offer excellent protection from the elements without overheating on warmer pow days. Built-in venting options increase the ability for riders to regulate their temperatures while maintaining moisture control, while a pair of cargo pockets provide plenty of onboard carrying capacity. One of those pockets even features an audio port that accommodates a headphone cord, making it easy to listen to some tunes while your smartphone is safely tucked away.
Runner-Up, Best Overall: Helly Hansen Legendary Pant
Helly Hansen has a long history of making some of the best gear for use in the worst weather imaginable and that heritage shines through with their Legendary Pant. Equipped with PrimaLoft Black insulation, and sporting a classic design, this is a snowboard pant that will keep you warm on some of the coldest days out on the hill. Helly’s proprietary Helly Tech fabric gives these pants outstanding wind- and waterproofing while managing to remain highly breathable at the same time. Generally built for use at the resort, these trousers are versatile enough to be used on less intense outings into the backcountry as well. They also happen to be surprisingly affordable, making them a great choice for those looking for high performance on a budget.
Best Budget: Volcom Freakin Snow Chino Pant
Made from 95-percent recycled materials, the Freakin Snow Chino from Volcom is not only good for the environment but good for your wallet, too. These pants are extremely affordable while still offering solid performance in a host of conditions. With a lean, athletic cut, the Freakin Snow trousers could easily be mistaken for a regular pair of slacks while on the street or in the lodge, although their standout performance in rain and snow would give away their true nature. Built-in insulation brings added warmth on colder days on the hill, while onboard venting options make it easier to regulate temperatures when the mercury starts to climb. If you’re tight on funds but still need outstanding performance, Volcom has created a serious contender for your consideration.
Most Comfortable: 686 GLCR Gore-Tex GT Pant
686 is another snowboard company that has adopted Gore-Tex fabrics to provide a higher level of resistance against wind and moisture. But the company knows that in order to stand out from the crowd, it needs to distinguish itself in other ways too. To do that 686 added mesh venting to the GLCR Gore-Tex GT’s legs, as well as a soft merino wool lining to the inner waistline. These shell pants also feature waterproof zippers that bring an additional layer of protection, as well as abrasion resistant fabrics that increase durability. To round things out, these trousers also include built-in boot gaiters that are compatible with the popular Boa lacing system, as well as a boot gussets with a snap-tight closure. All of that means more time on the hill or in the backcountry without fear of getting cold or wet.
Best for Men: Black Diamond Recon Stretch Pants
Black Diamond has a real winner on its hands with the Recon Stretch snow pants. With its four-way stretch fabrics, these trousers give riders the ability to move freely, even when pulling off spectacular acrobatic moves in the terrain park. That said, the Recon’s performance is definitely tuned for use in the backcountry, offering the comfort you need for all-day riding, mixed with the storm protection you need for unexpected shifts in weather conditions. Articulated knees and seat offer improved durability in areas that tend to show the most wear, while offset side venting options allow for quick and easy temperature control. Black Diamond has even included a Recco reflector to help the ski patrol locate the wearer during emergency situations.
Best for Women: Arc’Teryx Saber Pant
Lightly insulated and using a Gore-Tex wind and waterproof membrane, the Arc’Teryx Saber Pant is a great option for those who find themselves out on the slopes all day long. This pant features an athletic, natural cut that doesn’t give away their skiing and snowboarding roots, while still offering the level of performance you would expect from Arc’Teryx. Built with freeriders in mind, the Saber Pant can transition from groomed runs to backcountry routes without missing a beat. Large cargo pockets and ventilated side zips bring a nice level of convenience too, making this a pair of pants that riders will reach for again and again.
Best for Free Riders: Columbia Bugaboo II Snow Pants
Lightly insulated and packed with features — including articulated knees, an adjustable waist, and internal leg gaiters — the Columbia Bugaboo II is another affordable option for snowboarders on a budget. These pants use the company’s proprietary Omni-Tech fabrics to create a product that is waterproof and highly breathable for activity-filled days on the mountain. This pant has been a popular item in the Columbia catalog for sometime and it is easy to see why. Their performance is outstanding, offering a solid blend of warmth and comfort without sacrificing durability and protection.
Best Backcountry: Patagonia PowSlayer Pants
Lightweight and minimalistic in design, the PowSlayer is Patagonia’s flagship snow pants for both men and women. Using Gore-Tex Pro to provide protection from the wind and snow, these pants are comfortable and form fitting without inhibiting motion in any way. The PowSlayer Pants come with integrated gaiters to help keep snow from reaching the interior, several large cargo pockets, and Patagonia has even designed the pants to integrate seamlessly with the PowSlayer jacket to form a unified snowsuit for use anywhere on the mountain. These trousers even include a cleverly-concealed Recco reflector for improved safety and search and rescue operations during an emergency situation.
Best for Freestyle: Dakine Smyth Gore-Tex 2L Pant
Dakine’s double-layer shell pants incorporate a Gore-Tex membrane to provide plenty of protection from the elements while still managing to remain lightweight and comfortable. Warm enough for shredding the slopes or terrain park on mild days, these trousers feature a relaxed fit that provides room to add layers underneath when temperatures take a drop. Waterproof zippers add an additional safeguard against moisture, while mesh-lined inner leg vents allow heat and perspiration to easily escape, helping to regulate the rider’s body heat throughout the day. Throw in boot gaiters, a reinforced hem, and a webbed boot loop designed to hold a lift ticket and you start to understand why these pants are so popular with snowboarders.
Our writers spent 5 hours researching the most popular snowboard pants on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 15 different pants overall, screened options from 12 different brands and manufacturers, read over 15 user reviews (both positive and negative) and tested 2 of the projectors themselves. All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.